Deepwater Horizon

Deepwater Horizon¬†is a 2016 American¬†biopic¬†disaster film. It was directed by¬†Peter Berg, written by Matthew Sand and¬†Matthew Michael Carnahan, and starring an¬†ensemble cast¬†including¬†Mark Wahlberg,¬†Kurt Russell,¬†John Malkovich,¬†Gina Rodriguez,¬†Dylan O’Brien¬†and¬†Kate Hudson. It is based on the 2010¬†Deepwater Horizon¬† explosion¬† and¬†oil spill¬†in the Gulf of Mexico.

On April 20, 2010,¬†Deepwater Horizon, an¬†oil drilling rig¬†operated by private contractor¬†Transocean, is set to begin drilling off the southern coast of¬†Louisiana¬†on behalf of¬†BP. We see shots of the family life of some of the main characters as they leave their homes for a 3 week work schedule. Chief Electronics Technician Michael “Mike” Williams and rig supervisor James “Mr. Jimmy” Harrell are surprised to learn that the workers assigned to pump the cement intended to keep the well stable are being sent home early, without conducting a pressure test, at the insistence of BP managers Donald Vidrine and Robert Kaluza.¬†Harrell meets with Vidrine and persuades him to conduct a test, which only serves to weaken the already poorly placed cement further. His patience thinning, and without waiting for Harrell to confirm the results, Vidrine orders the well to be flowed.

All is well for a little while but the cement job fails completely triggering a massive¬†blowout¬†that overpowers and kills Keith Manuel, Shane Roshto, Roy Kemp, Karl Kleppigner, Adam Weise and Gordon Jones. Several systems start to fail and as they crew is unable to seal the well, the leaked oil causes a fire¬†killing Dewey Revette, Stephen Curtis, Jason Anderson and Donald Clark. The rig’s navigation officer, Andrea, tries to alert the¬†Coast Guard, only to be overruled by her superior, Captain Curt Kuchta, on the grounds that the rig is not in any imminent danger. With oil now spewing into the ocean, a frightened, oil covered¬†pelican¬†flies into the bridge of a nearby vessel, which heads towards the rig just as the workers begin a frantic evacuation. Harrell, who is seriously injured in the explosion, is rescued by Mike and assumes control of the situation, only to discover that the rig could not be saved. Dale Burkeen, a close friend of Mike’s, sacrifices himself to keep a burning crane from collapsing onto the surviving crew, while Mike and Caleb are able to rescue Vidrine and Kaluza and get them to safety.

The Coast Guard sees the fire and sends a ship to rescue survivors With all the lifeboats full, Mike locates the emergency life raft, but it becomes separated from the rig before he and Andrea can board, causing the latter to suffer a panic attack. Just as the oil in the well itself ignites and destroys the rig, the two jump into the water and are picked up by rescuers, who then ferry them to the Damon Bankston. Mike in particular has a panic attack when accosted with the parent of a dead crew member and he collapses in a sobbing heap in his hotel room. However he is reunited with his wife & young daughter and testifies in court.  It is revealed that not a single employee of either Transocean or BP was prosecuted for their actions. Pictures appear of the 11 men who lost their lives before the credits.

The movie received generally positive reviews but grossed only over $121 million worldwide on a budget of $156 million. The film was nominated for two¬†Oscars¬†at the¬†89th Academy Awards:¬†Best Sound Editing¬†and¬†Best Visual Effects, and a¬†BAFTA Award for Best Sound¬†at the¬†70th British Academy Film Awards. However it doesn’t really work as a movie as most viewers will fail to connect with the characters, even though the real life event causes much anger in the public and especially environmental groups and even other oil rig workers. I give it a 7 outta 10!

The Glass

Is the glass half-full, or half-empty?

The glass is definitely and most certainly half empty! Half fucking empty. I don’t get it why I can’t have even what I deserve. This is ridiculous. I just want to move on and not be bothered with shit all the time. I just want some peace and quiet and to be let alone and do what it is that I am to do and what I have to do. Why piss me off?

It is half empty and maybe….no it is infact less than than half empty. It is not anywhere near to being half full. Not in the slightest. This life stinks. I see no possible way that it gets better and that it gets towards being half full. I have had enough with being optimistic.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Disappointment at KFC

Yesterday I went to Gold Souk after work (one of my rare day shifts) to do shopping for groceries at Big Bazaar and post that felt famished. Ordered the Chicken Longer – a smallish bun that’s long rather than round and has chicken tenders and a bit of mayo and a bit of lettuce. Cheap and tasted the same. Too much bun not enough filler of chicken. It came with a small fries and a small Pepsi and I also ordered two chicken pieces. The fries were the blandest I have tasted yet and it was cold and tasted like your bargain bakery and cold storage place’s frozen fries. The two piece chicken – the first one was cold and dry but in one spot when I bit into it, a vat of grease squirted out.

The second piece, which they had obviously just made was a lot better and it was hot and fresh. Service was not too good either. I had to remind them of what was missing on my order (they forgot one chicken) and even after I asked for tissue paper the servers couldn’t be bothered. I finally had to quietly use some water from the bottle I take to the office. No other choice because I was not getting into an Uber with greasy hands.

No Excess

‚ÄúPerhaps too much of everything is as bad as too little.‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Edna Ferber. Do you agree with this statement on excess?

I am not too sure of that. Too much of peace, love, happiness and prosperity is as bad as too little? Hmmm I don’t buy it. I could use more happiness and joy in my life and I would like everyone to be able to get a lot more of it to. I know Queen sang “Too much love will kill you / Just as sure as none at all” but really?

I guess an overdose of anything can cause you to take things for granted and not appreciate it as much. Or it can dilute the things that matter the most for you. And you can forget just what it is you actually sacrificed to get the things that you wanted. I dunno but I feel that if everyone had as much as they wanted, wouldn’t the world be a better place? I mean, if all that you want is achieved in terms of food, luxury, clothing and other stuff, can we not dig down deep and work towards a better future because money and gaining things we want is not really a priority anymore?

Maybe I’m just a dreamer and I dream my life away but this doesn’t seem too bad to me.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Tough Week Up Ahead

I fully expect this coming week to be tough with very long hours and little rest. This week is a really busy one at the office and hence I may have to work 6 days a week – I was told 7 days initially but then since I can’t afford to take a leave during Monday-Friday the next week, then I would infact be working 12 days at a stretch. That is crazy and I see no need for it. So I may get next Sunday off and perhaps even Wednesday off. That wouldn’t be so bad.

The timings are also crazy. I am currently training new hire batches and because of a lack of free training rooms I find that I will have to work 1:30 am to 10:30 am. This is one of the worst timings for training possible. And I hate it but it apparently cannot be changed due to the logistical constraints. Struggling for several days and the graveyard shift would be even worse. But I think it will only be for 3 days at the most. That will be murder on me as I can’t get enough sleep during the day at home and I will be glad once it is over.

I have to go grocery shopping tomorrow after work and also perhaps go to an opticians store as the screw on one of nose rests on my spectacles is loose and I’m afraid it will roll off and get lost. It’s hard to wear glasses without a proper nose rest.

RIP Nelson Ellis

True Blood, has died at the age of 39 after complications from heart failure. “Nelsan has passed away after complications with heart failure,” the actor’s manager Emily Gerson Saines, told the Hollywood Reporter. “He was a great talent, and his words and presence will be forever missed.” A graduate of Julliard, Ellis’ first major role was as Lafayette Reynolds, a short order cook and vampire blood dealer on the hit HBO series. Ellis’ portrayal of the character was so beloved by True Blood fans of the series that even though Lafayette was killed off early in the Sookie Stackhouse book series, the character lasted the entirety of the show.

In addition to True Blood, Ellis appeared Lee Daniels’ The Butler (as Martin Luther King, Jr.), Secretariat, The Help, The Stanford Prison Experiment and as singer Bobby Byrd in the James Brown biopic Get On Up. Most recently, Ellis had a reoccurring role in the CBS detective series Elementary. Ellis was born in Harvey, Illinois, near Chicago. When Ellis and his siblings were younger, their mother, a single parent after her divorce from her husband, broke down over the death of her brother. Ellis and his siblings became wards of the state as a result. They were then raised in Bessemer, Alabama, by their grandmother. In Alabama, Ellis attended Jess Lanier High School for a year, then transferred to McAdory High School. He moved back to Illinois at age 15, where he lived with his maternal aunt, and in 1997 he graduated from Thornridge High School in Dolton, Illinois. He joined the¬†United States Marines¬†at the age of 17, but quit not long afterwards. Following this, Ellis attended¬†Illinois State University.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-Man: Homecoming is a 2017 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man, co-produced by Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios, and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing. It is the second reboot of the Spider-Man film franchise and the sixteenth film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Jon Watts, with a screenplay by the writing teams of Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, Watts and Christopher Ford, and Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers. The film stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, Marisa Tomei, and Robert Downey Jr.

I was quite looking forward to this film as I felt that Tom Holland & Spider-Man kinda stole a lot of the thunder in Captain America : Civil War, playing a likeable kid who is very green and is being mentored by Tony Stark. So it was with quite a bit of eager anticipation and excitement that I went in for this movie. And the verdict? We get an expansion of the same in that Spidey is being mentored by Stark but is not getting into the high stakes action that he wants to. Two months after the events of Civil War, Peter Parker is going to school and is still waiting for a call to join the good fight. Stark ignores his calls and Happy Hogan is acting as a liaison between them, fielding some of the calls that Peter makes to Stark. So we find Spidey fighting small time crime like robberies and car jackings.

The fear we all had was this, a movie about a very young Spider-Man, would be overshadowed by the large & rather dominating figure of Iron Man – it doesn’t. I felt they kept Tony for exactly as much was needed. Peter is played like an ordinary teenager who is awkward and has a crush on a girl, Liz, who he is afraid of speaking to about his feelings. He keeps his secret from his aunt and his schoolmates until best friend Ned accidentally finds out. He is also shown to have vlogged his trip to join Iron Man against his battle with Captain. His adventures don’t still well with Stark who isn’t sure he is ready yet to be a superhero without supervision so, as Spidey finds out, the suit that he is given has a tracking system in place as well as an AI interface with awesome Stark features that Peter later unlocks.

The villain works; Spidey is shown to be an average ordinary boy who suddenly gets superpowers after being bitten by a radioactive spider. Why not an ordinary man who becomes a supervillain? Keaton is almost perfect as Toomes/The Vulture, a middleaged contractor who loses his contract and livelihood 8 years ago after his salvage company were contracted to clean up the city, but their operation was quickly taken over by¬†Tony Stark’s U.S. Department of¬†Damage Control¬†(D.O.D.C.). Enraged at being driven out of business, Toomes persuades his employees to keep the¬† Chitauri¬†technology they already scavenged and use it to create advanced weapons to sell on the black market. Toomes doesn’t have grand visions of taking over the world or even a city – he just wants to maintain a good life and income for his family.

But Toomes causes a lot of destruction and his methods are flawed and worse he is also the father of the girl that Peter is in love with, a fact which is cleverly revealed as Peter goes to meet up with his date at her house before they go for the homecoming party. For a while it looked like Peter was in over his head when facing against an experienced Vulture because, despite his powers, he was still just a 15 year old kid. But Tony’s words, while criticizing Peter, gives Spidey the motivation to overcome defeat and he is able to get the better of his villain and also rescue him from death. Vulture is apprehended and sent to prison which also means that Liz and her mother leave town to move across the country. Aunt May also finds out that Peter is Spider-man!

I also liked the fact that there are so many different skin tones shown in the film, with actors of various ethnicities seen throughout. That is very refreshing. I like the humour and lighter tone in the film, the special effects is just great and it’s a fun to watch. But Spidey using technical wizardry in the film (even though when he faces off and wins against Vulture he is just in a regular suit) ? That is not what Spidey is all about. Still that was the only major flaw for me anyways. I give it a solid 8 outta 10!

Lost Art?

What’s the most important (or interesting, or unexpected) thing about blogging you know today that you didn’t know a month ago?

I think I have come to the conclusion that blogging is mostly dead. It’s a dead art now with some exceptions. The reason I say that is that for the most part 90% of the people / bloggers I used to read have either stopped blogging altogether or do the infrequent post every few weeks or so. A bunch of them have migrated to doing posts on Facebook but somehow it just doesn’t seem to be the same.

Now, ofcourse there quite a few blogs out there and professional blogs a plenty and all that but the kind of blogs I liked the most are personal blogs. Just like I like vlogs. It gets me an indepth understanding of the person and I like to read about what people think and all that. Blogs were perfect with a nice cup of hot coffee or even a beer. I think I have replaced blogs with vlogs for the most part. But I miss the people who I used to read a lot of.

Facebook has contributed a lot to that I guess. It’s easy and you don’t have to maintain it and it is easily accessible for your friends. Your thoughts pops into the screens (or timelines) of everyone who has friended you. So everyone is a blogger. Hmmm, maybe if you look at it that way, blogging is thriving!

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Lacazette Signs For Arsenal

Alexandre Lacazette has agreed to join us Arsenal on a long-term contract, for an undisclosed fee. He is expected to travel with the tour party to Sydney this weekend and is likely to make his home debut in the Emirates Cup on July 29 or July 30. Alexandre Lacazette says he is “fulfilling a dream” by joining the Gunners – and he certainly looks right at home in Arsenal colours. The France international became Arsenal’s second summer signing when he agreed to join from Lyon – and he took part in a photoshoot at London Colney recently.

Alexandre Lacazette completed his ¬£52.7m move to Arsenal from Lyon and said it represented the fulfilment of a childhood dream. The 26-year-old supported Lyon as a boy ‚Äď he went on to play for his hometown club at first-team level for eight seasons ‚Äď but, like many French players of his age, he considered Arsenal to be a reference point.

Lacazette entered the Lyon academy as a 12-year-old for the 2003-04 season ‚Äď the year that Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires helped Arsenal to the Invincibles title-winning season, and it made an impression on him. He has signed a five-year contract at the Emirates Stadium and he said he was further attracted by the club‚Äôs managerial stability ‚Äď Ars√®ne Wenger has been in charge since 1996 ‚Äď and their style of football, which he believes is the best in England.

Lacazette will travel with the squad on Sunday for the pre-season tour of Australia and China while he will play his first home game in the club’s colours at the Emirates Cup on 29-30 July. He has become Arsenal’s record signing and he arrives on the back of three particularly prolific seasons at Lyon. Last time out, he had the best shot-conversion rate of any forward who scored 20-plus goals in Europe’s leading five divisions.

Teachable Moments

You have to learn a new skill. Do you prefer to read about it, watch someone else do it, hear someone describe it, or try it yourself?

As I have grown older I realize that for me, I need to see it being done and then I have to do it myself. If I get to see it and follow it, I am good. Or also telling me how to do it as I do it, step up step, is also golden. That I feel is the best way. Especially for software tools that we use for work.

It really is simple – show it on a big screen projector and have people follow you. Make sure that they are doing the right steps and you can check up on them. That really is the best way. Reading can also be good if there are screenshots so you can easily identify the options but best is to see it get done. In some cases, if you are familiar with the layout of the tool having someone tell you how to do it via the phone can also be successful but it’s not recommended for more complicated processes.

Trying it yourself – as long as it’s not too complicated and the instructions are simple to follow then no harm. If not then disaster.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Roshanism

You are sent back to the 1500s with immortality and 1 gold coin. How do you become the richest person in the world by 2017?

What else? I would go back to the 1500s and tell the people that I am a god and show them that I am one by showcasing my immortality. They would have solid, tangible proof (unlike your so called silly fictional gods) that I exist and would worship me for all eternity.

And poof, just like that, in 2017 the dominant deity on this planet and the prevalent religion would be Roshanism. You would all be devout Roshanists and incase you do not believe in me, I will be fine with it. My laws would state that you are to be treated equally and should not be subjected to any discrimination or harassment of any kind. But if you believe in any other god or gods – OFF WITH YOUR HEAD!

How do I become the richest person in the world? I don’t need that 1 gold coin! Keep your stinking gold coin mere mortal. I will be showered with riches, temples would be built in my honour and I will have golden palaces in each country where I chose to stay and will have a harem of gorgeous women in each palace as well. Who needs your 1 gold coin!

Prompt from The Atheist Republic Facebook Page

Two Belgian Players Linked With Arsenal

According to a Portugese media outlet Arsenal are set to make a move for William Carvalho and Gelson Martins in a double deal with Sporting Lisbon. Portuguese publication A Bola claim a move worth a combined £70million for midfielder Carvalho and winger Martins. Wenger wants to beef up his midfield options with Carvalho, who has been linked with a move to the Premier League for the last four years during his time in Portugal. Carvalho has already been linked with a move to Manchester City this window with his club likely to sell at the right price. Martins comes with the added advantage of being able to operate as a full-back or in a more advanced position.

Wenger saw his side lose too many midfield battles last term, with Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka struggling to live up to his £30m billing since joining from Borussia Moenchengladbach last summer. Carvalho, 25, was close to joining  Manchester United before the departure of David Moyes in 2014. The Portuguese international has also been linked with a switch to Manchester City this summer as Pep Guardiola looks to reshape his Etihad squad ahead of his second season in England. Martins, 22, who bagged seven goals in 43 appearances in all competitions for Sporting last season, could prove a useful addition at the Emirates with his ability to operate as a winger or full-back.

The Gunners have already added¬†Sead Kolasinac from Schalke on a free transfer¬†and are close to sealing a deal for¬†Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette for ¬£44m. Arsenal are still in the hunt for Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez but are fighting to keep hold of Olivier Giroud, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis Sanchez. The Chile forward, who will take a short break after his country lost in the final of the Confederations Cup to Germany, claims he has already decided where h ewill play next season. The 28-year-old has had plenty of opportunity to pledge his future to Arsenal while speculation links him with a big move to Manchester City or Bayern Munich. But I still don’t see the name that I and several other fans want for defensive duties in Dutchman Virgil Van Dijk from Sunderland. We should have signed him 2 seasons ago.

Will Arsenal Sign More Players?

Will Arsenal sign more good players during the summer transfer window? It looks like the signing of Alexander Lacazette is getting done and we already have signed Sead Kolasinac on a free transfer. Arsenal are also looking at a few other players. Arsenal have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Thomas Lemar, with the Monaco midfielder reportedly keen to work with Arsene Wenger at the Emirates. Lemar is one of a number of Monaco players attracting interest this summer after the French outfit won Ligue 1 while also making waves in Europe. And according to Get French Football, the 21-year-old midfielder has made it clear to Arsenal that he hopes to work with Wenger next season. It is claimed Lemar, who played 28 league games for the French champions last season, believes now is the optimum time to move on and would welcome a switch to England.

And Italian website¬† Calciomercato.it¬†are claiming that the Gunners have also completed a deal for Leicester’s Mahrez. The Algeria international played a key role in the Foxes’ title win in 2016, scoring 18 goals across all competitions. But that number dropped to 10 last season with Leicester struggling under Claudio Ranieri – something that ultimately cost the Italian his job. Mahrez has since asked to leave the King Power Stadium, with the 26-year-old attracting interest from Barcelona. But Arsenal now appear set to win the race for his signature. The report adds than an announcement will be made ‘soon’ but does not provide any details of transfer fee of contract for the player.

Last summer the signing of Mahrez, the 2016 Premier League player of the year, would have created much excitement amongst Arsenal fans but this summer it doesn’t seem to be generating much interest. This is due to the lackluster season, in comparison with the previous high standards, that the Algerian had. Will we see one or possibly two of these signings? I dunno. I still think we need to get another top defender and if possible sell Ramsey or Ozil and get another creative midfielder.

Sleepy Time

More and more of us go to bed too late because of sleep procrastination. What are the nighttime rituals that keep you up before finally dozing off?

The one thing that always interrupts me from going to sleep at the right time is always the need to pee. Many times just as I am about to doze off and enter dream world my body tells me NO! There is an urgent need for you to relieve yourself and your bladder is full right now. So I gotta get up, reluctantly push the sheets away from me and walk to the bathroom and take a piss.

Otherwise it’s the usual things – I would be struggling to stay awake and my eyes are getting heavy but I am still watching a football match or a movie or tv series. I will fight off sleep as much as I can and stay awake until the game / movie or tv show episode is done. That is crazy but yeah that’s how we are. I dunno why.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com